Real Geeks Ride Across the United States

Filed as Features on February 2, 2009 4:50 am

Many people sit in their offices in front of their computers and think about changing the world, and do nothing. Some take an impossible idea and convert it into the possible. Others look around them and say, “Let’s make a change.” Then there are people like Joe and Carlos who look around and say, “Hey, let’s make a change in how we live and work and change the world by example.”

Beginning May 20th, 2009, Carlos Urreta and Joe Philipson will be taking to their bikes to ride across more than 3,000 miles of the United States to make such a point: “If WE can do this, we think other geeks can at least ride to work.”

Joe and Carlos of Real Geeks RideTheir goal is to persuade 1,000 geeks to get off their geeky buns and start biking, and their invitation is open to all geeks and geek wannabes.

Real Geeks Ride is a dream come true for these two young men from Hawaii. As blogging geeks, they felt slighted by their peers and want to prove to the world that geeks are adventurous and active, while encouraging other geeks to step out of their geeky shells to prove to the world they are more than their geek.

Their adventure will take them along their United States route from Neptune City, New Jersey across Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and ending in Seaside, Oregon. They are planning on riding 6-7 hours a day starting at six in the morning. Along the way, they will be putting their expertise in social media into action:

To reach our goal of persuading 1,000 geeks to bike to work instead of driving, we will be biking across the USA meeting technology (geeky) businesses, people of local significance, cycling communities, and various community organizations. We will be ready with presentations about our ride and our cause.

The entire ride will be documented with pictures, videos, and frequent blog posts on www.realgeeksride.com. In order to make this a true geek ride, we will be finding different ways to interact with the web and technology in the upcoming months. This can include things such as real-time tracking and the use of mobile solar panels. We will show the challenges of converting to cycling, and how best to overcome them, the way a geek would. Our web site will also show how to best alter your transportation norms with cycling myths, tips and tricks, and resources.

We feel geeks should be the first people to adapt to the needs of our time. To adapt efficiently is a pillar of how many geeks adhere to their own work and daily life. This bike ride is our initiative to show others that biking is a viable alternative to driving. We hope to persuade geeks, by example, to choose biking as a primary means of daily transportation to work.

While their goal is to set an example and encourage others to use alternative transportation, especially bikes, for their health as well as the health of the planet, the fact that they are using social media to promote their bike trip is fascinating.

Joe and Carlos started Twittering their plans and attracted a lot of enthusiast supporters, including many willing to host them along their trip with lodging, food, water, and WIFI connections. Fans will be able to follow them on their blog, Twitter account, maps, and email alerts. They will be using Google Maps and other maps and location online tools to chart their course and help fans follow along. Expect a lot of tweetups and meetups along their course, too, for in person meetings and discussions.

They are shrinking down their travel and computer gear to the barest essentials, contacting computer tech and mobile companies for sponsorship and testing of mobile communication equipment and gadgets.

They are looking for hosts, meal sponsors, financial sponsors, and businesses and associations such as bike clubs, fitness centers, computer and web user groups, and anyone who wants to help a couple of geeks make their dream of crossing the states on bicycle true.

The two haven’t finalized their calendar online yet, but they might be arriving in the Pacific Northwest in Oregon in time for the Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic, a bike marathon between Seattle and Portland that attracts about 10,000 biker riders annual for over 25 years. Sponsored by the Cascade Bicycle Club and Group Health, participants take one to two days to travel about 200 miles along back country rural roads paralleling Interstate 5. This year the event will be July 11-12, 2009. It would be exciting to combine the two events to really help publicize biking as a form of transportation and exercise.

I’ll be hosting them in Portland, Oregon, as they pass through on the last leg of their journey. Why don’t you help them out along the way, too.

Let’s get all geek bloggers together to help support these fellow geeks and start making being geeky sexy!

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  1. By The Moneyac posted on February 2, 2009 at 9:19 am
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    Wow quite interesting !

    I am looking forward to hear more from this event.

    Too bad I am nowhere near USA,lol.

    Cheers, and best of luck !

    The Moneyac

    Reply

    • By Lorelle VanFossen posted on February 3, 2009 at 11:20 am
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      If the adventure is a hit in the states, who knows where they might take it next. There is a lot of world with geeks in it that aren’t pushing themselves to be more proactive in their community. Who knows what might come of this dream! The Internet is a big place. :D

      Reply

  2. By Matt O'Toole posted on February 2, 2009 at 8:33 pm
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    These guys “get it” in a way that escapes our big-name bike advocacy orgs.

    Reply

  3. By Joe Philipson posted on February 4, 2009 at 7:32 am
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    So cool, thanks! Do you think you could fix my last name? Just one “l” :-) Really appreciate the write u! Lorelle you rock!

    Reply

  4. By Matt O'Toole posted on February 6, 2009 at 8:50 am
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    To expand on my comment above, which just sounds dumb:

    Unfortunately, the bike advocacy community is dominated by old farts who don’t understand the internet, and are still struggling with email and circa-1998 websites. For example, the Bikeleague still doesn’t even have an RSS feed.

    I’m very pleased to see some younger, more dynamic, and smarter people getting into bike advocacy. We need the new blood! Hats off to Carlos and Joe, and we hope to be hearing lots more from them!

    Reply

  5. By Tim Lussier posted on February 26, 2009 at 5:31 pm
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    Congrats Joe and Carlos — Look forward to your great success !

    Reply

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